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, if there is new changes in the next couple of decades, deficits will rise, the debt to gdp ratios will rise and our debt will become unsustainable. an important objective for policy is to bring the federal budget under control over the next few decades. as you know, we're still in a relatively fragile recovery and we want to avoid taking fiscal actions that will push the economy back into recession. that was one of the risks that the fiscal cliff pose. tax increases and spending cuts to that size, the cbo and others estimated that unemployment would rise and we very well might go back into a recession. so the challenge is to achieve long run sustainability without unduly hampering the recovery which we have. the deal that was struck, together with the previous work in 2011 that involved some spending cuts made some progress in both of these goals. on longer and sustainability, over the next decade or so, we have seen some movement toward stability in terms of the debt to gdp ratio. more work can be done, for sure. and then, on the short run, the fiscal cliff deal on new year's eliminated a
the government running. we need a plan to slowly on the but surely walk our nation out of debt, deficit, and decline. this debatealf, -- is often argued in numbers and figures, but it is really about families like yours that bear the burden of a slow economy. constant uncertainty and ever changing government rules that cesare jobs overseas. de to day jobs pay less. -- day to day jobs pay less. we need to address the most pressing economic challenges. you deserve better. with the swearing in of a new congress and the inauguration of president obama, this is an opportunity for a new start. republicans will not provide a blank check for more spending and the rational borrowing and constant tax increases. we need to have a washington budget and not a family budget. budget and not a family budget.
of these issues. >> if the deficit can only be resolved in increasing taxes and cutting expenses. what expenses would you cut? >> i don't believe we should cut across the board. we should cut strategically. s there -- there is fat, no question about it. i would start there. there is no question that this defense budget is bloated. i'm speaking -- i can tell you the mayors of the country want to see less spending on defense and more spending on bridges and roads and highways and schools. investments that will bear dwiveds down the line. i also said -- i'm a democrat and this does not fly with some democrats but you have to look at some entitlements. you can be for entilettlement reform and not want to turn health care into vouchers. i can tell you mayors have gotten the support of pension reform. there's a number of things we can do that don't decimate the safety net but do, you know, make the kinds of investments. a balanced approach is the only way to deal with deficits at the level and debt at the level that we have in the nation today. it is the only path forward. >> should president obama i
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